Review: Better Explorer for Windows brings Ribbon UI to your explorer

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Windows 8 brought on a whole slew of changes. The Metro user interface, the hybrid boot option, and Windows Live ID integration. One of the biggest changes, as we can all remember with the leaking of build 7850, is the ribbon user interface implemented into the explorer shell. Better Browser brings the functionality of the new Windows 8 explorer to those running Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

It was a matter of time before it happened. Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 both have the ribbon user interface, and it was introduced to Microsoft Paint and WordPad in Windows 7. The ribbon user interface, in Microsoft’s eyes, were its next “big thing”. But those were only minor changes in Windows 7. Microsoft decided it was time for Windows Explorer to get a face lift for Windows 8.

Windows 7’s explorer does not have the ribbon user interface, but by using Better Browser, you have the functionality of that ribbon in a whole new application. Better Browser is its own program. It is not an add-on and does not tinker with system files, and it can be uninstalled at any time. The ribbon is identical to Microsoft Office 2010’s, but instead has features you would use in explorer instead. Copy and paste items in a breeze by just a click of the mouse, or go up one folder which is now easier to do. Compared to Windows 7’s explorer, I can see my grandma having less trouble using Better Browser than using the real explorer on her Windows 7 PC because it tells her how to do it because it’s right in front of her. No need for a right click!

Better Browser also includes tabbed browsing. Though, not planned or implemented in Windows 8, it is one of the best things that keeps your desktop from being cluttered with many explorer Windows. Heck, I’ve even thought of that idea in the past. It’s too bad Microsoft hasn’t taken advantage of a “tabbed explorer” yet.

The application used was an alpha (version still in the developmental stages and has some bugs, like when clicking “File” the page comes up blank but overall, when completed, it’ll be one heck of a program letting people use a Windows 8-like explorer when sticking to 7 (or Vista for that matter).

Better Browser is a great alternative to those wanting to try Windows 8’s functionality in explorer. It includes the ribbon and tabbed browsing, making it the easiest browser you’ll use. It’s unbelievable how it’s in the alpha stage! The bugs in the program shouldn’t keep you from using it, but it’ll get better.

You can download Better Explorer for Windows 7 or Windows Vista here.